Gamergate

12/12/19

Gamergate is the name given to a harassment campaign revolving around feminism and progressive attitudes. The harassment of a female games developer Zoe Quinn began after she released a text based game about depression, and the gamer community were unhappy about a game that wasn’t more interactive. Zoe’s ex boyfriend compounded things by writing a derogatory blogpost that was seized upon by what became known as gamergaters. These gamergaters found each other online on such forums as 4-Chan and Reddit and later 8-chan. The harassment campaign took the form of DDosing (overloading a persons website with requests for access so that the site becomes unusable) along with vicious rape and death threats. Zoe’s home address was distributed online and she had to leave in the middle of the night because of the threats.

The hate campaign found more victims with other prominent female games developers and journalists being attacked as well. Gamergaters felt that feminism and progressive attitudes were ruining all games by attempting to be more inclusive and trying to appeal to the 50% of the population that many women game designers felt was being excluded. Gaming has long been thought of a male dominated industry which is illustrated by so many games unnecessarily having unrealistic, sexualized, female characters. In the last 10-15 years gaming has become more accessible, the vast majority of us now playing games on our phones; and consoles like the Wii are more intuitive and accessible to more people. Some gamers resent these changes, much like the person that loves a band until they get mainstream success.

Gamergate itself happened in 2014 and has been said to be the start of the recent Alt Right and Incel movements; which shows how misogyny and fascism are connected. Fascism usually includes outdated ideas of gender roles; white supremacists often talk about woman producing white progeny, almost wanting to turn them into baby factories. This control of women has taken a violent turn in some people such as Eliot Rogers, who is a hero in the incel movement for killing 6 women. The residual effects of Gamergate are still with us and it gave greater prominence to figures such as Milo Yiannopolis who helped fuel the hatred and white identity politics that catapulted Trump in to the White House.

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